How you treat your relationship with your customers is increasingly central to business success. According to recent surveys, around 94% of all customers value transparency from companies and will actively choose to shop elsewhere if they think they are being misled by a product or brand. Transparency is your way of being an ethical brand and treating your customers with the respect they deserve. The huge importance that consumers attach to transparency is also why it should be central to your marketing efforts. By leveraging your commitment to transparency in your marketing, you can send the right message about your brand and increase sales. Read on to find out exactly how you can use transparency to turbocharge your marketing, with examples.†
Honest pricing to Turbocharge Your Marketing
Transparent pricing is the pillar of transparency that customers care the most about. If you are advertising a deal or discount that turns out to be much more expensive than promised once you add on all of your hidden fees, that customer will not shop with you again. You should be honest about your pricing from the outset and explain why your price is what it is.
One absolutely stellar example of this in action can be found in the airline industry. Southwest Airlines’ recent “transparent” pricing campaign focused on being crystal clear about all fees on airfare and promising zero hidden costs. The resulting campaign racked up nearly 5 million likes on Facebook, doing wonders for the brand.†
Terms and conditions made clear to Turbocharge Your Marketing
Every brand has a legal obligation to list all terms and conditions of use and purchase in a transparent way. However, this is not enough. How many times have you scrolled through a 100-page T&C document, without reading a word and not knowing what you have signed up for? The new trend among leading brands is to make the T&Cs that have the biggest impact on the customer upfront and clear from the outset.
A great example of this approach in action can be found in the online casino gaming industry. This industry article on the best betting sites in the UK explains how many of the top brands now put their wagering requirements and key terms of service upfront, where everyone will read them. This helps to establish trust and transform new customers into lifelong partners.†
Address rumours head-on
If you have a highly visible brand, it is inevitable that controversy will ensue at some point. Even if you run a small business, it is important to be prepared for this.†If there are harmful rumors or uncredible allegations circulation about your brand, do not bury your head in the sand. Address the gossip head-on and show that you are plugged into the concerns of your customers.
One company that did exactly that is the fast-food giant McDonald’s, with its lauded “our food, your questions” campaign. In this campaign, they acknowledged and dispelled all of the most pervasive myths about their food products, while also inviting customers to ask them anything on social media. To date, there have been more than 42,000 questions put to McDonald’s, with around 4 million people reading their responses. This is transparency done right.†
Own up to your mistakes
All brands make mistakes. That is OK. What matters is how you face up to it and make it right. We expect people to admit to their mistakes and learn from them. We should expect the same from all companies. By owning up to your mistakes, you are sending a clear message that it won’t happen again, which will allow you to rebuild trust with your customers. Choosing not to do this shows that your brand cannot be trusted to act in good faith.
One good example of corporate candor†comes from Samsung, where the CEO recently released a number of videos addressing the recall of the Note 7 device. In the video, the CEO is frank about how it is Samsung that dropped the ball and that the mistake is 100% Samsung’s to address. They do not play the blame game and they do not try to gaslight their own customers. This is how you right a wrong and do good marketing at the same time.††
These are our favorite examples of corporate transparency as good marketing practice. Learn from these today to grow your brand in the future.†